"Prove God Exists"

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Goomba, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    They knew that by analyzing the situation - like so many other learned men did. And, before the colonies existed, too.

    Our founders wrapped their proposals in the most flowery terms required to sell their points of view to a doubtful populace.

    ALL our presidential candidates do the same thing. Some have gotten away with being Catholic or Mormon - but, only barely. None have gotten away without claiming to be Christians.
     
  2. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't agree with the blanket statement that our nation was founded as a Christian nation. George Washington was a Freemason, and he wore his Freemason apron at important political events. The layout of D.C. is a Masonic masterpiece, and experts have produced massive evidence that key locations were selected using the so-called megalithic yard. Despite all the sources you cite, Freemasonry was a strong factor in the founding of our nation. Your quotes of Jefferson conveniently overlook the fact that he put together a stripped-down version of the Bible, i.e. the Jefferson Bible.
     
  3. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I always wondered about freemasonry, and when I read up on it, I realized that it was not the same in the US as it was in Europe. It was quite popular among the elite when the country was founded, until a certain incident happened which so scandalized the American people, that they turned away from it.

    If we take the present connotation of the term 'secular' into account, we can't really say this country was secular. I would think of it more in terms of being interdenominational - which was quite radical at the time. Thomas Jefferson in that sense was the most radical since he established a university inclusive of all Protestant denominations.

    As for the Roman Catholics, they were very few and mostly in Maryland and a few other states. They did suffer if they went beyond the tolerance allotted them in certain areas, especially later on by the Klu Klux Klan. John Kennedy's biggest challenge in the 1960's was to win the presidency as a Roman Catholic rather than converting to some Protestant faith.

    As for George Washington, he forbade profanity, and mandated his troops to attend services on Sunday. He wrote the prayer below, and frankly I don't know how much more devout a person can get.


    Recently I read that the Founding Fathers saw the formation of this country as a means to spread the Gospel. This would account for the hundreds if not thousands of Christian orphanages, schools, and hospitals that the American Churches established in the Near East, Middle East and Asia in the 19th century.

    "Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in Thy fear, and dying in Thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy son, Jesus Christ."
     
  4. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    No, our government is NOT interdenominational.

    That would imply that "denominations" could agree on policies that are religious.

    Our constitution does not allow that. Religion can't be the reason for legal decisions.

    For example, all relgions in the US (not just denominations of Christianity) could decide that same sex marriage must be denied by law. But, that's just not the way our constitution works - as we clearly see.

    Our government is secular.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  5. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This is for anyone who denies the Christian foundation of this country. Alexis de Tocqueville was a French statesman, historian and social philosopher who came to America in the 1830s to find out why this country was so successful. What most impressed him was America's religious character. Here are some excerpts by Tocqueville from his classic 2 volume work: Democracy in America:

    "...Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things..."

    "...Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of (freedom) it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief..."

    "...In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth..."

    "...In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people..."

    "...Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent..."

    "...I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution..."

    "...Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power..."

    "...America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great..." (We're seeing it now)

    "...The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom..."

    "...The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other..."

    "...Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts -- the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims..."

    http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/cdf/onug/detocq.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  6. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    And yet, Christianity is the basis of our civil laws. It's what keeps many from being stoned to death, among other things - so how about a little respect here. You realize of course that we have to place our hands on the Bible to ascertain truthfulness - among other things.

    Here's something of interest from Alexis de Tocqueville:

    While I was in America, a witness, who happened to be called at the assizes of the county of Chester (state of New York), declared that he did not believe in the existence of God or in the immortality of the soul. The judge refused to admit his evidence, on the ground that the witness had destroyed beforehand all confidence of the court in what he was about to say.

    The newspapers related the fact without any further comment. The New York Spectator of August 23rd, 1831, relates the fact in the following terms:


    "The court of common pleas of Chester county (New York), a few days since rejected a witness who declared his disbelief in the existence of God. The presiding judge remarked, that he had not before been aware that there was a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that this belief constituted the sanction of all testimony in a court of justice: and that he knew of no case in a Christian country, where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief."
     
  7. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    No, our civil laws are based on a long history of jurisprudance and the needs of the population as represented in legislatures.

    We do NOT allow laws based on what some religion may consider to be sin.

    The very idea of that kind of nonsense was rejected at the outset and is no more accepted today.

    The president of the USA could, if he/she wanted, be sworn into office with a hand on a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

    And, no. Witnesses do NOT have to touch a bible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  8. ECA

    ECA Well-Known Member

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    Which of the thousands of god are you referring to?
     
  9. Jeannette

    Jeannette Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    How about educating yourself about Western civilization because you're starting to sound very foolish. A good place to start would be Justinian's code.

    https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-hccc-worldhistory/chapter/the-justinian-code/
     
  10. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I'm well aware of that. And, as long as you want to do that, maybe you should mention Mosaic law.

    And, that is MY POINT.

    Government has progressed over a LONG period of time.

    As your document points out, Justinian's code created in significant part to regulate religion.

    That was a time when religion and government were one.

    Justinian's laws included that one must believe in the trinity and other religous precepts under harsh penalty of LAW. He wiped out whole religions. He had "heretics" burned and drowned in his presence.

    Justinian is a prime example of why religion and government have to be kept entirely separate.

    And, as Justinian's dates demonstrate it took a LONG time to move to that end, finally with our own founders strictly excluding religion as a justification OR purpose for law and governance.
     
  11. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The author of The Naked Ape offers a very plausible explanation of why/how the God-concept was acquired by humans. See pages 179-180 if you have access to the book.

    Most wild primate societies have a dominant male at the top of the peck order who is an all-powerful tyrant. Other members must fear him, show subordination, and offer appeasement when his aggression or whims dictate such consideration.

    As human societies made the transition to clans of hunter-gatherers, cooperation among members became important for survival and proliferation. The top dog had to be a more likeable, admirable, and capable leader, coordinator, and supporter.

    The disappearance of the all-powerful brute ruler stereotype at the top left a gap that was filled by creating an intangible substitute endowed with invincibility and absolute authority: God.
     

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